Do you know where Valentine’s Day comes from?
I wanted to reflect on Valentine’s Day this week and what it means to each of us, and so I decided I had better have a look into its history. I was quite surprised at the rather heart-sore story that I found!
In the third century AD a roman emperor made it law for all Romans to worship 12 gods and made it punishable by death to associate with Christians. A Christian martyr, named Valentinus, was so dedicated to Christ that he could not be stopped and was therefore arrested and imprisoned.
Since Valentinus was a learned man, the jailer sent his young blind daughter, Julia, to listen to his stories and his tales and see the world through his eyes. One day when Julia asked him whether God heard her prayers he replied in the affirmative. She asked if they could pray together for her sight to be returned. After some moments of silence during their prayers, a bright light shone into the cell and she could finally see.
On the eve of his death, Valentinus sent Julia a note encouraging her to stay close to God. He signed it ‘From your Valentine’. The next day, on February 14, his sentence was carried out. It is believed that Julia planted a pink-blossomed almond tree near his grave.
To this day the almond tree is a symbol of abiding love and friendship, and now, on February 14 each year, messages of affection, love, friendship and devotion are shared around the world.
I believe that marketing and the media has taken Valentine’s Day and created the expectation in people that it is a day of being showered with flowers, chocolates, elaborate cards and lots of love. And this is what the day is like for some. For others, this is not always the case. And many are OK with that, but I bet there are many who are not OK with it. For some it may be a day that stings its reminder that you’re still single, a fact that you’re not comfortable with. Or, if you’re in a partnership, it may make you feel less loved and worthy on the day if your significant other forgets to celebrate it. There are all number of reasons why this day, for some, can often be a sad one.
My proposal to you for Valentine’s Day, and what it means to you, begins with two questions:
Who is the most important person in your life?
Many of you might answer, my kids, my husband, my wife, my mother, my father, my sister etc…
What about you?
Surely you are the most important person in your life? Surely your cup is the one that needs to be filled to the brim with love so that you can share it with those other significant people in your life? Don’t rely solely on others to fill you up with love.
On Valentine’s Day this year I challenge you to do something fabulous for yourself that fills your cup with love. Enjoy all the love and affection that others share with you and enjoy sharing that love with others. But please, do not hold back on love, while you wait for someone else to give you flowers or a beautiful card. Instead treat yourself to something special as a symbol of the love you have for yourself…after all, you are the person in this world who you spend the most time with!
Please share with me what ideas you have in mind, I can’t wait to hear 🙂